JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Shark sightings at Jacksonville Beach sent spring break beachgoers scrambling out of the water Monday afternoon.
Just before 3 p.m., a shark fin was spotted in about knee-deep water (pictured above) along the shore near the Jacksonville Beach pier. Another fin was spotted soon after (pictured right near piling), leading those nearby to believe more than one shark was circling in the waters.
After the initial frenzy, many people ran back into the water to get a good look and snap photos and videos with their cellphones. No injuries have been reported.
"The second they told us there was a shark, everybody swam to the water because they were like oh my God cool a shark so everybody got in but the shark swam into the ocean it was awesome," said Nicole Toolan.
The sharks appear to be 6-foot bull sharks, but that has not been confirmed by authorities.
"I was playing soccer, and then I saw everybody just stop, looking, and I'm like, 'What's everybody looking at?' And then I turn around and I see just everybody running, and there's a shark. It's about a 6-foot shark," said Admir Osmanovic. "Instead of everybody running away, everybody is coming to the water, we're checking it out, we're pretty close to it. It was pretty cool, you know. First time ever seeing a shark in 15 years living in Jacksonville. I liked it. It was awesome."
A fisherman may be to blame for at least one of the sharks being so close to shore, because he caught and released a bull shark (pictured) about the same time they were spotted.
Last year, two shark bites were reported off the Northeast Florida coast. In 2012 and 2013 there were three bites reported each year.
A teenage girl was killed by a bull shark in 2005 off the Florida Gulf Coast, and a New Jersey teen was attacked by a bull shark in 2013. The last fatal shark attack in Florida was in Stuart in 2010 when a kiteboarder was surrounded and attacked by several sharks, but the sharks' species was not identified.
Rip currents are also a concern for beachgoers this week. Lifeguards said they pulled six people from the water Monday because of rip currents.